Friday, February 27, 2009

Dex Now Knows More

This little project took about 12 hours.

I put a ad at the bottom of the Community Color web sites. The goal of my site is to list all of the web sites from towns. DexKnows lists businesses.

There is a nice symbiotic relation here. If you can find a local web site, perhaps you can still find what you are looking for in the yellow pages. just did a major upgrade of their site, which required that I change all of the links on my site.

To add functionality, I spent the day matching all of my categories to the DexKnow keywords. The box is now prepopulated with both the town name and the DexKnows search term that best matches my category name.

If you choose a page in the directory (say Moab Art). The DexKnows Box at the bottom of the page is populated with the keyword "artists" and the town name Moab. Simply clicking the logo in the box will execute the search.

If you went to Boulder Cycling you will find the box prepoplated with the term "bicycling" and Boulder, Co for the town.

It took about 18 hours to match the category and keywords. Hopefully this little bit of functionality will improve the directory experience. If not, I killed two days for nothing.

Being a good programmer, I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to roll out the change into production.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Widget Dex

© Robot Cam PictureIn internet lingo, a widget is a small piece of code hosted by one web site made available for display on other web sites. YouTube videos are a great example of such a widget. Anyone can grab the object code for a video and paste on their blog.

My first experiment with widgets was a total disaster. The widgets were a bait and switch. I put the widgets on my site. One day I fould my web site was spewing forth popups and other internet nasties. Really evil people made fun widgets, then had them install browser helper objects or parasiteware.

Because of this, I wrote off widgets for a half decade.

This last year, I started playing with widgets again.

Yesterday, I was thinking about ways to improve my sites. I decided to dramatically increase the number of widgets on display. My hope is to create a index of widgets from the area served by Community Color (the mountain west).

To keep track of the widgets, I made a little widget index program. This will help me track down and remove widgets if the widget host turns to the dark side of the net. The summary report shows widgets by community. It will take me awhile to find them all.

Anyway, if you are from the Mountain West and have a youtube video or other widget that you would like me to list; please reply to this post or send me the link with my contact form.

Creating widget is a great way to build web traffic.

When building widgets, please don't become evil. There is enough evil in the world.